Home / Africa Blog / How to plan an Overland Tour through Africa [Guide]

How to plan an Overland Tour through Africa [Guide]

An overland tour in Africa is a travel odyssey like no other. After all, this beautiful continent is filled with sensational sights and experiences that have probably been on your bucket list for a while!

The great migration in the Serengeti, safaris in Botswana’s Okavango Delta, desert exploring in Namibia, gorilla trekking in Uganda. Nothing can compete with spending a few weeks or months on the road in Africa.

So, if you’ve been thinking about overlanding and need help planning your travels to Africa then you’re in the right place. Here’s everything you need to help you put together the most adventurous African overland experience.

 

Infographic - How to plan and Overland tour through Africa

 

1. First thing’s first. Where do you want to go?

Africa is a huge continent. To put it into perspective, it is more than three times the size of the US including Canada and Alaska. That is a lot of ground to cover so knowing which highlights you want to see will determine which trip is best for you.

Typically speaking, overland tours are either in East Africa or Southern Africa. If your adventure through Africa must include highlights such as Victoria Falls and the Kruger Park then Southern Africa is for you.

On the other hand, overlanding in East Africa will give you a glimpse of iconic places like the Masai Mara National Reserve, Ngorongoro Crater, and the Serengeti National Park. But, if FOMO guides your travel itinerary then you can always do both!

While your start point and route are crucial, it is also important to think about where you want to end your overland tour. Remember, this is not a holiday, it’s an adventure. Roughing it out for a few weeks is grand but at the end of it, you’re going to want some downtime. This is why we recommend adding extra days in destinations such as Cape Town or Zanzibar post tour.

 

2. When or what time of year do you want to travel?

Once you’re settled on where in Africa you want to overland and what you want to see, the next factor to consider is when do you want to go.

Generally speaking, overlanding in Africa is a year-round event. But, as with any other type of travel, there are peak and low seasons that can have a huge impact on your overlanding experience.

Do you want to avoid the hot summer or go on a camping trip when rainfall is low? Do you want to see the migration, or go to the Zambezi when its waters are flowing at maximum?

Typically July and August are popular months to explore Tanzania and Kenya thanks to the excellent Great Migration action. While January and February are primed for Gorilla trekking in Uganda.

 

3. How many days are you planning to be on tour?

Aligned with your decision about when to go on your Africa overland tour, is how long to go for. This can be between 1-7 days, 8-14 days, 15-25 days and 25+ days.

Ultimately the amount of time you have will determine how much distance you can cover. If you’re just taking a break from work, this is more likely to be a shorter period of time and you’ll be limited to either one or two countries and tours that skim the surface.

But, if you’ve got an open calendar to play around with, then you’ll be able to explore more countries for longer periods of time. Whatever timeframe you come up with, you need to consider if you can see all the things you want to in that period.

We recommend 2 weeks or more on the road in Africa as this allows you to really engage and take in the experience as well as see many things in a relatively short amount of time.

  • Tour Length 57 days
    Group Size Max 20
    Starts & Ends Starts: Nairobi Ends: Cape Town
    Countries South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda
    Overview From open top safaris in the Masai Mara, to camping in the Serengeti, and gorilla trekking in Uganda, this is a wildlife odyssey like no other. Throw in a paradise island, dramatic canyons, and intimate village tours, and you’ve found yourself in a story book expedition that will change your life. Fifty-five days, nine countries, seven national parks, one continent. This is how you travel Africa.  

    Price from

    R224,800

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    Nairobi to Cape Town Overland (Comfort) (57 Days)

    Tour start → end dates Price Enquire
    17 Aug 2024 → 12 Oct 2024

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    R224800
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  • Tour Length 20 days
    Group Size Max 20
    Starts & Ends Starts: Cape Town Ends: Victoria Falls
    Countries South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe
    Overview Craving action and adventure? This 20 day expedition reads like a synopsis for the Amazing Race: scenic flights over the Okavango, white water rafting on the Zambezi, desert hikes, nights under a sprawling blanket of stars — and that’s just the start! We’ve also included wildlife safari drives in Etosha, Moremi Game Reserve and a relaxing sunset river cruise on the Chobe River to give you the best chance of experiencing the diversity of Southern Africa.

    Price from

    R68,595

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    Cape Town to Victoria Falls Tour (Comfort) *Most Booked Trip*

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  • Tour Length 12 days
    Group Size Max 20
    Starts & Ends Starts: Swakopmund Ends: Victoria Falls
    Countries Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe
    Overview Pressed for time? Think of this short and sweet tour as your safari adventure trailer. On the road from Namibia to Botswana you’ll have a front row seat to all of Southern Africa’s bucket list experiences. From capturing a snapshot of the elusive big five in Etosha to hearing ancient stories told by Southern Africa’s first people - this is an authentic African adventure and you’re at the heart of it.

    Price from

    R54,250

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    Namibia & Delta Safari (Comfort) Tour (12 Days)

    Tour start → end dates Price Enquire
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4. Your budget

The next thing to consider is your budget, excluding flights. There are two questions you need to ask yourself when planning your overlanding tour budget – How much have you got to spend and how much are you willing to spend?

Dozens of variables go into determining the price of a trip and it is important to remember that your budget shapes the experience. For example, a semi-inclusive lodge safari will cost more than a tented safari but can also be more comfortable if you’re not into roughing it out.

By the end of it, your price ranges can look something like this: 1000 – 2000 USD, 2000 – 3000 USD or 3000+USD per person.

Then there are the additional expenses. Think souvenirs, meals that are not included, last-minute activities you may want to join, guide tips, visas etc.

Be sure to read all the small print about what is and isn’t included in the tour. Trust me, the Hakuna Matata lifestyle does not apply when booking your overland tour in Africa.

 

5. Your accommodation style

Another thing to consider is your travel style. After all, you don’t want to spend weeks on the road feeling tired and uncomfortable. So, knowing yourself is paramount to planning an overland tour in Africa.

Are you excited by the thought of roughing it out in the wild? Dead-set on not cooking while you overland? Do you need the comfort of a bed (not sleeping mat) each night? Thankfully, there are a few options that cater to various travel styles.

Camping

If you’re looking to Bear Grylls it then a Camping Overland Tour will be perfect for you! Participation is key here so expect to assist in setting up your campsite, building campfires, and preparing some meals.

A camping safari is ideal for travelers who want to experience the wilder side of Africa. And, as the name suggests, you will be doing a lot of camping! On adventures like these, you’ll stay in large canvas tents which are spacious enough for two adults plus luggage. Or, you can opt to have your own tent by including the single supplement. Either way, with the wildlife mere meters away, you will feel connected to the environment and the starry night skies.

  • Tour Length 26 days
    Group Size Max 20
    Starts & Ends Starts: Cape Town Ends: Johannesburg
    Countries South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe
    Overview When it comes to diversity, South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe are incredible - and the best way to take it in is on this adrenaline packed overland tour. We’ve handpicked the most breathtaking Southern African experiences and wrapped them into 26 days of pure, blood-pumping adventure. From canoeing on the Orange River, to climbing giant sand dunes, and capturing the big five (with your camera, of course) in the world famous Kruger National Park. This is how you travel Africa.

    Price from

    R59,760

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    Cape Town to Kruger Safari via Vic Falls (Camping) (26 Days)

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    09 Mar 2024 → 03 Apr 2024

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  • Tour Length 20 days
    Group Size Max 20
    Starts & Ends Starts: Cape Town Ends: Victoria Falls
    Countries South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe
    Overview This 20 day expedition reads like a synopsis for the Amazing Race: scenic flights over the Okavango, white water rafting on the Zambezi, desert hikes, campouts under a sprawling blanket of stars — and that’s just the start! We’ve also included wildlife safari drives in Etosha, Moremi Game Reserve, and a relaxing sunset river cruise on the Chobe River to give you the best chance of experiencing the diversity of Southern Africa.

    Price from

    R44,540

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    Cape Town to Victoria Falls Tour (Camping – Most Popular)

    Tour start → end dates Price Enquire
    05 Mar 2024 → 24 Mar 2024

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    R52400
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